World History Course Description and Goals

  • World History is a one-year survey course designed to give students an overview of the history of the world from approximately 8,000 B.C.E. to the present. Students will examine several themes in history including the interactions between humans and the environment, development and interactions of cultures, state-building, creation and interaction of economic systems, and the development and transformation of social structures. Students should expect to do a significant amount of reading, writing, and research through various projects throughout the school year. Students will also gain an understanding of how to use technology appropriately as the social studies department continues to integrate technology into its courses.

    By the end of this course, students should understand that:

    • The emergence of domestication and agriculture facilitated the development of complex societies and contributed to the formation of social organizations and new systems of communication and trade. (8000 B.C.E. to 600 C.E.)
    • Hemispheric networks intensified as a result of of innovations in agriculture, trade across longer distances, the consolidation of belief systems, and the development of new empires. (600 C.E. to 1450 C.E.)
    • New connections between the hemispheres resulted in the “Columbia Exchange,” new sources and forms of knowledge, development of global economy, the expansion of slavery, and increasingly complex societies and social structures. (1450 C.E. to 1750 C.E.)
    • Industrialization prompted wide-spread population growth and migration, new colonial empires, and revolutionary concepts about government and political power. (1750 C.E. to 1950 C.E.)
    • Post WWII geopolitical reorganization produced the Cold War balance of power based on competing economic and political philosophies. Globalization and capitalism shaped the contemporary world with the rapid development of new technologies. Social disparities and cultural conflict arose due to the changing economic and political global landscape. (1950 C.E. to Present)